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Voluntary ad ban for kids not enough - Kedgley


Green MP Sue Kedgley has welcomed the Government's commitment to eliminate advertisements during children's TV shows, but does not believe that a voluntary ban would work.

Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs said yesterday she is intending to meet the advertising industry to seek support for a voluntary ban on commercials during children's viewing times.

"There are clearly important social and health issues at stake here which require Government leadership," she said. "A profit-driven industry is unlikely to put the health and other interests of our children ahead of commercial considerations."

Ms Kedgley said she would prefer to see New Zealand follow the lead of countries like Sweden, Norway and Austria, which prohibit advertising around children's programmes.

Ms Kedgley said she was particularly concerned about the harmful health effects of much of the advertising that is targeted at children, during the more than two hours of TV each day they watch on average.

A recent New Zealand study has found that 65 percent of food advertisements during children's TV programmes promote high fat, high sugar, high salt food, such as sweets, chippies, fizzy drinks and icecream - the sorts of foods which are implicated in obesity and dental cavities in childhood, and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers in adults.

"If we are serious about improving the health of our children, we must act immediately to restrict the flood of advertisements for unhealthy food that our children are being exposed on a daily basis," said Ms Kedgley.

"At the very least, our advertising codes of practice for children should be revised so that food ads are in line with national health and nutrition guidelines. The code should prohibit advertisements which undermine healthy eating or condone excessive consumption of unhealthy foods," said Ms Kedgley.

Sue Kedgley MP: 470 6728 or 025 270 9088 Gina Dempster, Press Secretary: 470 6723 or 021 1265 289


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